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Barclays Africa L’Atelier Arts Competition for Young African Artists (Fully-funded to Paris, France) 2018

L’Atelier is one of Africa’s most prestigious art competitions. It rewards young visual artists aged 21 to 35 with the opportunity to develop their talents abroad. A look through the list of previous winners will testify to this.

Application Deadline: 27th April 2018 at 16:00 (CAT).

Offered Annually? Yes

Eligible Countries: South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Namibia, Mozambique, Mauritius or Seychelles.

About the Award: Building on the platform created over the past two years, the competition is continuing to expand across Africa, opening in a number of countries, where Barclays Africa has a presence.

The L’Atelier competition sets the stage for approximately 100 young artists each year to promote their work by exhibiting at the Absa Gallery, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and having their work documented in a sought-after catalogue.

Type: Contest


  • Artists who are permanent residents of and residing in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Namibia, Mozambique, Mauritius or Seychelles are invited to enter.
  • Interested candidates are required to read the Terms and Conditions for further details on their eligibility.

Selection Criteria: The criteria for the adjudication both at the regional and national levels revolves around matters of technical execution, conceptual and thematic engagement, freshness of artistic vision within the context of African contemporary art and finally – and probably the most difficult element – aesthetic appeal.

Selection: Initial adjudication is done on electronic submission where you may upload up to seven (7) images of your artwork. Those artists whose entries make it in through to the next round will be contact directly to arrange for the collection of their artwork. It is essential when registering online and uploading your artwork that all fields are completed. Failure not to complete all fields will result in your entry been disqualified. Please note that all previous entrants will be required to re-register.

Number of Awards: 10

Value of Award:

  1. There are five prizes for 2018 competition: the first prize, three merit award prizes and Gerard Sekoto Award for the most promising artist.
  2. The top 10 finalists will all be placed on a two-day art professionalism course to assist them in managing their careers.

First Prize: 

6 Months in Paris:

  • R330 000 and a return ticket to Paris
  • The prize money must be used for a study term of between three and six months in the studio apartment at the Cité Internationale des Arts, purchased specifically for this purpose. The prize money will be made available when the winner leaves for Paris. The date of the residency is January to June 2019.

Merit Award Prizes:

  • 3 Months in Johannesburg
    • At the Bag Factory Artists’ Studio
    • One merit award winner will win a prize consisting of a three-month residency in Johannesburg, at the Bag Factory Artists’ Studio, a return flight to Johannesburg and a monthly stipend. The date of the residency is June to August 2019.
  • 2 Months in Sylt
    • The Sylt Foundation Residency
    • This prize includes a return flight to Germany and a monthly stipend. The date of the residency is September to October 2019.
  • 1 Month in New York
    • The Ampersand Foundation Residency
    • The prize includes a one month residency at the Ampersand Foundation in New York. You’ll be a Fellow of the Ampersand Foundation and have access to the American Association of Museums (AAM) card that allows free access to most museums in New York City. The prize includes return flights to New York City and a monthly stipend. The date of the residency is January 2019.

Gerard Sekoto Award

3 Months in Paris:

  • The Alliance Française, the Institut Français Afrique du Sud and the French Embassy are sponsoring the Gerard Sekoto Award for a South African artist who has demonstrated continual improvement in the quality of their entry year-on-year in the L’Atelier competition.
  • This prize consists of a return flight ticket to Paris, three months’ stay in the Cité Internationale des Arts, nationwide touring exhibitions Institut Français Afrique du Sud language lessons. The Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris residencies are made available by SANAVA. The date of the residency is May to July 2019.

How to Apply: Interested applicants must go through the Program Webpage (see Link below) for application information BEFORE APPLYING.


Visit the Program Webpage for Details

Award Providers: 

  • Barclays Africa Group Limited
  • South African National Association for the Visual Arts


  • Alliance Française in South Africa
  • French Embassy in South Africa
  • Institut Français Afrique du Sud


  • Sylt Foundation
  • Ampersand Foundation
  • Bag Factory Johannesburg
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